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  1. #1
    AR Newbie Registered Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2003

    Surround speaker recommendations

    I built my current system primarily for music, but find that I'm more frequently using my system for home theater and need to replace my surrounds immediatly.

    My system consists of a Pioneer Elite VSX-35TX, Paradigm Monitor 5 V2, Paradigm CC370 V2 centers, and some cheaps Advent speakers for the current surrounds.

    The room is fairly small and options for speaker placement is limited. Right now they are positioned directly left and right of the primary listening position mounted about 4 feet overhead facing each other.

    I originally thought of looking for a pair of Mini monitors but looking for other recommendations. Everything I've read says that the surround speakers brand should match the fronts, but I was told by a sales person that the information coming out of the surrounds was so minimal that it really didn't matter if they were different brands. Of course this shop doesn't sell Paradigm.

    Things were so much easier before surround sound. By the way, first time here, really nice informative site.


  2. #2
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Department of Heuristics and Research on Material Applications
    I have mixed feelings about matching surrounds to the rest of your speakers. On one hand I think it's marketing by speaker companies to sell you more speakers, but on the other hand, I've had mismatched surrounds and it drove me nuts during music playback. I could easily tell a tonal difference.
    I had Mini-Monitors as rears with Monitor 5's for 2 years, and if I hadn't run into some very good luck and couldn't afford the Studio's I have now I'd still have them in my main system. They are very good speakers and serve well as surrounds, I don't think you'd be making a mistake buying those.
    If you are an avid music fan, you may find yourself dipping into the world of 5.1 audio more and more, in which case I would suggest that surround speakers are more important than that salesperson told you. Same if you like to use DSP modes for playback.
    On the other hand, better surrounds that aren't perfectly matched to the rest of your speakers will still sound better than you have now. You might be able to find a good deal on another brand and I'm sure you'd still be satisfied. I had Paradigm Titans that I used for rears with Monitor 5's and even Studio 100's for a few months, and those little gems served me quite well.
    I have read articles that claim the acoustic environment of different parts of a room will often change the timbral characteristics of speakers enough that matching speakers isn't terribly significant. It seems to me that even if that statement is true, your speakers would be closer in timbre to each other if they were identical, rather than if they were different.

  3. #3
    DIY Dude poneal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    TX, USA
    I agree with the previous poster. I think on surrounds it is less important to timbre match them with the front. Now the front and center should match. If it is causing you anxiety and you just gotta have new surrounds, then go get a pair of paradigm surrounds to match your fronts.

  4. #4
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    SF Bay Area
    The Mini Monitors are your best bet simply because they use the same drivers as your front speakers. Timbre matching for movie soundtracks is desirable but not absolutely critical because you don't have a lot of sounds that are sent to the mains and surrounds at roughly equal levels. However, multichannel music soundtracks share a lot of the same sounds between the mains and surrounds, and mismatches are glaringly audible. And movie soundtracks are increasingly sending music into the surround channels at roughly the same levels as the fronts.

  5. #5
    AR Newbie Registered Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Thanks for the feedback. Going to take the drive tomorrow and pick-up a set of mini monitors.

    Thanks again

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